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Katsunami
09-16-2012, 12:09 PM
That guy from the Mahalo channel on youtube (the one that does tutorials on ArtRage) put me into a My Little Pony mood...

The main lead ponies in the series seem to be teenagers somewhere around 15-16 human-like years old. I've decided to pick Applejack as my first try. Because I refuse to do only a copy from a reference even when learning stuff (just a weird quirk of mine...), I opted to try and "re-invent" her. I've tried to make her a Shetland Pony in her late twenties or so, with a more adult and powerful body shape compared to the young Applejack from the series. I've retained her trademarks: the hat, hair, and her "one leg up" pose, or she wouldn't be Applejack anymore :)

Please keep in mind that I've only got my (first) Intuos5 tablet 3 days ago. This is the first-ever drawing after the age of 5. I hope you like it enough to be interested in the colored and shaded version later on :)

I must "unflatten" the table, and make the hair in her neck less rigid. Somehow... :confused:

Someone with half-decent drawing skills would probably take about 5 minutes to draw this, and another 5 to ink it, for a grand total of 10. It took me 10 hours, up to now. This is going to cost me a lot of Wacom nibs I fear. Ah well, if it must be so :)

Shibui
09-16-2012, 01:04 PM
HaHa!!! Love your attitude, hope you have great fun here!

Katsunami
09-16-2012, 02:10 PM
HaHa!!! Love your attitude, hope you have great fun here!

Thanks, the fun will be had :) Should have started this drawing thing 10 years ago when I first learned of the Intuos tablets. But then there wasn't any ArtRage. Simple, but quite powerful under the hood. Being a software engineer, I like such software :)

limey-g
09-17-2012, 01:40 AM
Well done, it would appear you are very much like myself and discovered the pleasure in drawing and painting, later in life.
It does not matter how long it takes to complete a project as long as it is fun along the way and you feel like you have accomplished something at the end.
I look forward to seeing your progression.
Geoff

suffolkgal
09-17-2012, 02:05 AM
Well, I am not going to laugh (as you suggested I would in another thread) as I can't draw a pony's hind quarters to save my life (although I would attempt it for a date with Colin Firth but my husband would not allow it anyway - highly unreasonable in my eyes but there you go :D )

However, if I knew you well enough I would simply say "I will see your Little Pony and raise you an Action man" but as I don't I shall sit on my hands and resist the urge to type...oh bother...

;D

And it is a very good Little Pony and a good start (says she who doesn't know a vanishing point from a light source)

Katsunami
09-17-2012, 12:28 PM
Thanks, Lime-g and Suffolkgal :) Drawing is actually easier than I thought. I'll post a little changelog.

1. Fixed the hair (this really bothered me)
2. Made the legs sturdier.
3, 4: Fixed the hair again.
5. Get stuck at 3 and 4 for about 3 hours.
6. Bigger cutie mark.
7. Put the text balloon in.
8. Started to paint.
9. Do point 8 a load of times with different brush settings.
10. Change the hair again.
11. Put her freckles in (under the eye)
12. Thickened up her eyelashes as per cartoon

And I'm still not sure if I should leave the line on her forehead in the hair or take it out (again).

Couldn't be easier ;)

Now I just need to unflatten the table, find out how to actually do shading and then look up some tutorials about painting a background. Thank god for layers, or I would already be done for when using real paint. I'll be done in... oh... a week or so :p

edit: that's some big-time jpeg-compression over there... from 500+ kB to 88 kB :eek:

suffolkgal
09-18-2012, 09:43 PM
Thanks, Lime-g and Suffolkgal :) Drawing is actually easier than I thought. I'll post a little changelog.

1. Fixed the hair (this really bothered me)
2. Made the legs sturdier.
3, 4: Fixed the hair again.
5. Get stuck at 3 and 4 for about 3 hours.
6. Bigger cutie mark.
7. Put the text balloon in.
8. Started to paint.
9. Do point 8 a load of times with different brush settings.
10. Change the hair again.
11. Put her freckles in (under the eye)
12. Thickened up her eyelashes as per cartoon

And I'm still not sure if I should leave the line on her forehead in the hair or take it out (again).

Couldn't be easier ;)

Now I just need to unflatten the table, find out how to actually do shading and then look up some tutorials about painting a background. Thank god for layers, or I would already be done for when using real paint. I'll be done in... oh... a week or so :p

edit: that's some big-time jpeg-compression over there... from 500+ kB to 88 kB :eek:

You will get there :) Yesterday I spent a large part, of the little me time I get, playing around with the layers in general in the studio pro version and exploring transparency. I also discovered, (bearing in mind I used Artrage 2 for about a year *blush*) the layers position can be changed by holding down the button on the layer you want to move and dragging it. Simple stuff to most on here but to me it was a very useful discovery and one I could have done with knowing several times over the past year lol.

Nice colours used so far, perhaps cartooning is going to be your genre :)

Ali

suffolkgal
09-18-2012, 09:47 PM
Ooh and Someonesane (member of the forum) posted a very useful perspective sticker to upload into your program. There is also a Youtube tutorial to follow, which is how I found it in the first place oddly and it is a very clever idea and well worth having :)


http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums/showthread.php?31728-Comic-Book-Odds-and-Ends&highlight=odds+ends (http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums/showthread.php?31728-Comic-Book-Odds-and-Ends&highlight=odds+ends)

Katsunami
09-19-2012, 08:43 AM
You will get there :)

Someday.


I also discovered, (bearing in mind I used Artrage 2 for about a year *blush*) the layers position can be changed by holding down the button on the layer you want to move and dragging it. Simple stuff to most on here but to me it was a very useful discovery and one I could have done with knowing several times over the past year lol.

Please allow me to laugh. Here goes: "Mwuhahaha!!"

I think it's funny :p Every graphics program released in about the last two decades can do this :)


Nice colours used so far, perhaps cartooning is going to be your genre :)

Ali

Nah. These are the default colors for Applejack. I just picked them with the eyedropper.

This drawing is way too small requiring too much background. Maybe I'll redo something like it, at one time. (I'm sure you can see the Apple pun in there... I hope...) I've tried to draw a huge version of Applejack's front mane and then paint and shade it with different hues. It turned out well. Maybe I'll try a frame filling portrait, using only the head from a reference drawing :) (And if that turns out well, I might just also try the other characters.)

suffolkgal
09-19-2012, 09:30 AM
Someday.



Please allow me to laugh. Here goes: "Mwuhahaha!!"

I think it's funny :p Every graphics program released in about the last two decades can do this :)



Nah. These are the default colors for Applejack. I just picked them with the eyedropper.

This drawing is way too small requiring too much background. Maybe I'll redo something like it, at one time. (I'm sure you can see the Apple pun in there... I hope...) I've tried to draw a huge version of Applejack's front mane and then paint and shade it with different hues. It turned out well. Maybe I'll try a frame filling portrait, using only the head from a reference drawing :) (And if that turns out well, I might just also try the other characters.)

Ah I see, laughing at the afflicted, are we? ;P

Artrage is my first graphics program so it's taking me a while to learn how to use it properly, genetics didn't prepare me quite well enough for instant knowledge on such things, I blame my mother.

However, I am gratified to see the true colours for Little Pony have not escaped your notice and you are keen on authenticity, something to be encouraged :)

I almost pause to ask...do you have a model on your desk for easy reference? :D :D :D :D

Katsunami
09-19-2012, 10:12 AM
Ah I see, laughing at the afflicted, are we? ;P

Artrage is my first graphics program so it's taking me a while to learn how to use it properly, genetics didn't prepare me quite well enough for instant knowledge on such things, I blame my mother.

LOL :)

I'm a software engineer, so I tend to learn new programs quite fast. *innocent whistle*
But because I'm so analytical, I must have everything perfect, and I tend to draw lines 20 times or so :( (edit: and edit posts half a year later to fix spelling mistakes. LOL.)

Gotta stop doing that or my sketches will take forever.

Now to decide; should I draw something myself, or just trace a reference so I can try some painting...


However, I am gratified to see the true colours for Little Pony have not escaped your notice and you are keen on authenticity, something to be encouraged :)

I wonder if many people here use a properly calibrated monitor when selecting their colors. I think it's a necessity, as it is for photography. In this case, the point would me moot, as I used the color picker :)


I almost pause to ask...do you have a model on your desk for easy reference? :D :D :D :D

Now that I think about this: my sister must have most of the G1 ponies in her attic, or otherwise they're in my parent's house. Yes. I remember the G1's, just like G1 Transformers. I'm that old. But I don't have ponies for reference. No. I don't. And I didn't watch the new show either, except the two episodes with Discord. No ma'am. Nope.

*sidelong glance*

Ah, crap, I admit it. I've watched the show. Every single episode. After seeing the episodes with Discord, I couldn't leave the rest of it hanging. It would be unfinished. It's because of my perfectionism! It is! Truly!

Sigh.

Damn you, Q/Discord. I'll never forgive you for this.

suffolkgal
09-19-2012, 10:25 PM
Now that I think about this: my sister must have most of the G1 ponies in her attic, or otherwise they're in my parent's house. Yes. I remember the G1's, just like G1 Transformers. I'm that old. But I don't have ponies for reference. No. I don't. And I didn't watch the new show either, except the two episodes with Discord. No ma'am. Nope.

*sidelong glance*

Ah, crap, I admit it. I've watched the show. Every single episode. After seeing the episodes with Discord, I couldn't leave the rest of it hanging. It would be unfinished. It's because of my perfectionism! It is! Truly!

Sigh.

Damn you, Q/Discord. I'll never forgive you for this.

I knew it! She is sitting on your digital Hammond organ, isn't she? Well, I hope you keep her hair properly brushed and styled, young man, those manes knot in a breeze...:D :D :D

(I thought about generously putting it down to necessity of research but then I remembered your crack about my lack of computer knowledge and thought 'perhaps not' LOL!)

Katsunami
09-20-2012, 12:32 AM
I knew it! She is sitting on your digital Hammond organ, isn't she? Well, I hope you keep her hair properly brushed and styled, young man, those manes knot in a breeze...:D :D :D

Yes, ma'am, will do :o

But everything will be about 20% cooler because of it :cool:


(I thought about generously putting it down to necessity of research but then I remembered your crack about my lack of computer knowledge and thought 'perhaps not' LOL!)

Hehe. Fair enough :D

suffolkgal
09-20-2012, 01:56 AM
Alright, I know you are going to crucify me for this but I have a thickish skin and, since I can't PM, I have the added embarrassment of publicly admitting my ignorance. However, curiosity has got the better of me...

How exactly does one calibrate their monitor and will my laptop blow up if I attempt it without a degree in computers?

Katsunami
09-20-2012, 02:50 AM
Alright, I know you are going to crucify me for this but I have a thickish skin and, since I can't PM, I have the added embarrassment of publicly admitting my ignorance. However, curiosity has got the better of me...

How exactly does one calibrate their monitor and will my laptop blow up if I attempt it without a degree in computers?

I won't crucify anyone; especially not with regard to this subject. (The layers thing was just something I found funny to hear. Sorry :p) Understanding how color management works, is actually a very complicated subject. A "normal" computer user cannot be execpted to know about it, let alone technically understand it. Even many photographers and artists have problems with this stuff when just starting out. I know I had. This material has the annoying tendency to be one of those all-or-nothing subjects: you either understand nothing and it's just a jumble of terms and theory, or you experience an "Aha!"-moment and understand everything all at once, and then it's so logical that you can't help thinking why people find it difficult.

I will try to explain with the least technical details as possible. M-m-m-m-monster post coming up.... :p

You know that every monitor has it's own color. You can see it with TV's too: no two monitors or TV's look alike. So, if you say "Display RED number #115" to two different devices, that color will look different. If you create picture using monitor A, and then display it on monitor B, then the colors will be different on B; the picture may even look very bad. The cause can be either a bad setup for monitor A (which makes you create a bad picture from the start, but YOU won't see that), or it can be a problem with the setup of monitor B (which will then display nice pictures in a bad way).

This is where calibration and profiling come in. It makes sure that the monitor YOU are using, displays the correct colors. So if something looks bad on another monitor, you know that it is not YOUR fault.

First, you buy a device such as this:

Datacolor Spyder4 Express, Pro or Elite.
http://spyder.datacolor.com/

This is a device that will help you adjust your monitor. You do the following:

- Buy the Spyder 4 Pro
- Install the software onto the computer and connect the Spyder4.
- Run the software, and put the Spyder4 onto the screen when the software asks you to.

Now the calibration starts. It means that the Spyder4 device measures colors on your screen, and the software gives hints what you should do to set the screen as correctly as possible. The hints are displayed as graphs, like this, for example:

- Too much red. (The red bar is higher than green and blue. So, you use the monitor controls to lower red.)
- Not enough green. (Green bar is lower than red and blue. Put more green into the picture.)
- Too bright (Dial back the brightness.)

And so on. At a certain point, all graphs will be "in the middle": the Spyder4 has determined that this is the closest your monitor can get to displaying perfect colors.

Now the software does the profiling. The monitor may be set as perfectly as possible, it can still have some deviations in individual colors. The software will run through all colors: all reds, all greens, all blues, everything from white through gray up to black. It works like this:

- Software: I display Pure Red #115. Spyder4, what do you see?
- Spyder4: I see Pure Red #117! (The Spyder4 knows all colors exactly.)
- Software: OK. I'll note down a correction of -2.
- Software: I display perfect gray: Red, Green and Blue, all 128. What do you see?
- Spyder4: i see 128, 125 and 130!
- Software. OK. I will note down a correction of 0, +3 and -2.

This goes on and on, and takes about 10 minutes. (Go drink a cup of coffee.) At the end, the software knows all the corrections needed to make the screen truly perfect. The list of corrections is called a Color Profile. The software saves this color profile onto the computer, and it will be loaded each time you start the computer. The calibration (adjusting the monitor's controls) makes sure it is as close to perfect as possible, the profile corrects the remaining deviations when it is loaded at the start of the computer.

Now you have a perfectly calibrated and profiled monitor; if you edit something on this monitor, you know that you are seeing the correct colors as they truly are. (It may be that some pictures you edited previously, now look like crap, because you might have put too much red in it, made them too dark because your screen was set too light, and so on.)

So, most of this setup is automatic; you just follow the steps in the Spyder4 software. Often, the defaults will work perfectly fine for most computers. There is only one thing to keep in mind:

If you have a monitor that has hardware controls for brightness, contrast, and colors, then go for the Spyder4 Pro. It can help adjusting the monitor controls. The Spyder4 Express software cannot do this. That software will just say: "Please reset your monitor to factory defaults", and assumes this as being "perfect" (which it obviously isn't), doing all the corrections in the software. Therefore, if your monitor has hardware adjustments, the Spyder4 Pro will give better results. If your monitor does not have hardware adjustments (which is mostly the case for laptops, who only have brightness settings), the Express will do.

Even a monitor without hardware adjustments that is profiled by the Spyder4 Express using it's default settings will be MUCH better than no color correction at all. The Elite is the same as Pro, with some added functionality for projectors and comparing monitors; you will not need the Elite. If someone needs the Elite, then he or she knows a lot about color management stuff already, and has special requirements.

There are some other things related to this, such as color spaces. A color space defines how many colors are available: for example, the Adobe RGB color space has more colors than sRGB. sRGB stands for Standard RGB, and is the default for most programs. Color spaces are only an issue if you're using a program that can handle non-default color spaces such as Photoshop, and instruct it to do so. Leave the color space of any program on sRGB (if it has settings for this, of course), unless you know exactly why you want to change it. Many photo camera's have both Adobe RGB and sRGB. Leave the camera on sRGB or your colors may look wrong on the computer or when you post pictures onto the internet. If you know why you'd want Adobe RGB and know how to handle it, you wouldn't be reading this monster of a post, because you would've known everything necessary already.

As far as I can see, ArtRage has no special color settings, and so I assume it will work in the default sRGB color space.

I told you this was not a simple subject. I hope I have made it somewhat clearer for you. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

EDIT: AAARGH. DataColor has posted a video that shortly explains what the Spyder4 can do.

http://spyder.datacolor.com/en/portfolio-view/spyder4/

Please note that for simplicity they leave out the "calibration" step that the Spyder4 Pro can do and don't explain how the calibration actually works, but I've covered that in this post.

suffolkgal
09-20-2012, 08:47 AM
Wow! Thank you for taking the time to explain that. I think I shall look into it further when I have a bigger block of freetime. I love photography so it will serve me well if I can get it done :)

Katsunami
09-20-2012, 09:14 AM
You're welcome. If you have any questions along the way then just ask and I'll see if I can assist. As I said: it's an all or nothing subject. If you get it right, your colors will be perfect. If you get it wrong, you might see yellow while it actually is green.... lol. (Yes, been there, done that... :o)

I really must get back to tracing a reference so I can paint it in. My blending tests were at least promising :) And I have many Bob Ross episodes to rewatch...

Topdecker
10-03-2012, 03:05 PM
Well, I certainly didn't expect to encounter another spyder user... :)

The device to check the colors (the spyder) is pretty cool. The software to adjust the monitor - a little too self-important. I get two notices on reboot for a piece of software that should be able to function without bothering me. Otherwise, no complaints - it is really nice to finally have the colors and temp set to something close to accurate. I do have an older spyder-2, so perhaps newer versions have less intrusive software.

I might want to make prints later or otherwise have what I am doing printed, so I wanted to be sure to have my display set to be as accurate as possible.

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